SAARC Satellite Programme

SAARC Satellite is a proposed communication-cum-meteorology satellite by Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) for the SAARC region. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi mooted the idea of a satellite serving the needs of SAARC member nations. In his a visit to Nepal in August 2014, Narendra Modi announced developing a satellite to assist India’s neighbors.In March 2015, ISRO chairman A. S. Kiran Kumar said that configuration of the Saarc satellite will be finalised soon and it will be launched within 18 month.

In his address to the Sri Lankan Parliament in March 2015, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “Sri Lanka will take full benefit of India’s satellite for the SAARC Region. This should be in Space by December 2016”.

The satellite – which will be dedicated for helping the region in education, health and communication — is also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet space project. All member countries have given their nod, including Pakistan.

India is bearing all costs of the communication satellite that will weigh approximately 2,000 kg, and is close to completion. It will have 12 KU band transponders and is expected to provide assistance in telemedicine, tele-education, village resource centre, crop productivity and disaster management.

According to ISRO , it will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from Sriharikota.

Isro plans to launch the satellite before Saarc Day on December 8, 2016.

Discuss the Battle of Waterloo and the impact of it.

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army.

Upon Napoleon’s return to power in March 1815, many states that had opposed him formed the Seventh Coalition and began to mobilize armies. Two large forces assembled close to the north-eastern border of France. Napoleon chose to attack in the hope of destroying them before they could join in a coordinated invasion of France with other members of the coalition. The defeat at Waterloo ended Napoleon’s rule as Emperor of the French.

The bicentenary of Waterloo has prompted renewed attention to the geopolitical and economic legacy of the battle and the century of relative transatlantic peace which followed.

The Battle ended the First French Empire and the political and military career of Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest commanders and statesmen in history.

It was followed by almost four decades of international peace in Europe. No further major conflict occurred until the Crimean War. Changes to the configuration of European states, as refashioned after Waterloo, included the formation of the Holy Alliance of reactionary governments intent on repressing revolutionary and democratic ideas.Every generation in Europe up to the outbreak of the First World War looked back at Waterloo as the turning point that dictated the course of subsequent world history. In retrospect, it was seen as the event that ushered in the Concert of Europe, an era characterised by relative peace, material prosperity and technological progress.

 

Comment on the role of major powers of the world in Central Asia

Central Asia is the core region of the Asian continent and stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. Central Asia includes five republics of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan (pop. 17 million), Kyrgyzstan (5.7 million), Tajikistan (8.0 million), Turkmenistan (5.2 million), and Uzbekistan (30 million), for a total population of about 66 million as of 2013‚Äď2014. Afghanistan (pop. 31.1 million) is also sometimes included.

Central Asia is rapidly changing after the world started taking more notice of this energy-rich region. Already the flow of capital and expansion of trade is triggering large-scale infrastructure, shipment of goods and flow of people across the region.

Owing to its energy resources and economic potential coupled with radicalism, great powers rivalry in the region has also increased. The major powers have responded in many ways to benefit from region’s strategic and energy resources. Russia is the traditional player and wishes to exert political influence. Moscow has strengthened the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and now it is aggressively pushing the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to keep Central Asia under its stiff economic control.

The main contestant in the region is China, which has been waiting in the wings, since the Soviet collapse, for fully entering into the region with multiple motives. China considers this region as a source of energy and a critical partner for stabilizing its restive Xinjiang province. China has fully used its geographical proximity to the region and while pursuing an ingenious soft-power policy, it has successfully converted every challenge in Central Asia into an opportunity. China has pursued its interest while using the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a multilateral vehicle for promoting multiple interlocking of economic, security and even cultural ties. In fact, China has rapidly challenged Russian monopoly over Central Asia‚Äôs energy exports. Massive infrastructure development including building of pipelines, roads, and railways completed in the recent years are facilitating transport of oil, gas, uranium and other minerals to the Chinese towns. Beijing‚Äôs latest Silk Road Economic Belt scheme envisages $40 billion fund for promoting infrastructure, industrial and financial co-operation from Asia to Europe through Central Asia. The countries have quickly pledged support to the ‚ÄėSilk Route Belt‚Äô idea for deepening their ancient ties with China. Chinese-led multilateral development institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Shanghai-based BRICS New Development Bank can also be helpful to China.

During an October 2013 visit to Kazakhstan, Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined his vision of a Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB).SREB will encourage economic development in China’s restive Xinjiang region, and will boost Chinese exports to Central Asia. In addition, expanded land transit allows China to diversify its import and export channels, diffusing risk from maritime lanes still controlled by the U.S. The investment in new infrastructure also cements Chinese economic and, some fear, political influence. Part of the SREB vision is the creation of new institutions with a strong Chinese voice, like the AIIB, that could challenge existing U.S.-led alternatives. China has deployed massive diplomatic, military, academic, and business resources to support the realization of the SREB and this synergy of resources gives its vision the best likelihood of success. While the initial focus is economic, over the long term these developments could even pave the way for increased Chinese-led Asian security cooperation.

The US and its allies remained deeply engaged in the region and used it as a valuable supply hub for the Afghanistan war effort. However, against the backdrop of the crisis in Ukraine, the United States is likely to review its Central Asia strategy. Washington, it seems, is getting concerned about the situation in Central Asia. Russia’s standoff with the West, declining oil prices and overall Western sanctions is already having ripple effects on Central Asian economies, especially on the remittances from millions of migrants from the region working in Russia

The West is also worried about uncertainty looming in Central Asia stemming from the succession issue of regional leaders.

Europe is also taking a renewed interest in Central Asia following the crisis in Ukraine. The European Union is now trying to import energy directly from the source to offset fears of disruption by Russia. The EU is considering for the 3,300-kilometer Nabucco pipeline project to import gas directly from Azerbaijan and Central Asian nations to the heart of Europe. The EU has unveiled recently a new ‚ÄúSouthern Corridor-New Silk Route‚ÄĚ strategy for a multiple road, rail and pipeline links between the Caspian area and Europe.

Central Asia and regional and global security

The region is the northern frontier of the Islamic world hitherto unaffected by fundamentalist wave. There is a major shift to, religious pattern of society, underway in the region. Central Asia is now emerging as the next radical Islamic region. A series of serious explosions and terrorist acts by Islamists have been taking place in Kazakhstan since 2011. The area extending from Chechnya, Ferghana to Xinjiang, comprising 100 million people could form new arc of instability. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is more entrenched not only in Af-Pak region but in Central Asia as well. The IMU has strong links with al Qaeda and is now expected to get stronger in Afghanistan after the NATO’s withdrawal. Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has heavily recruited more and more Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Kyrgyz. China’s concerns in Xinjiang underscore the gravity of extremist threat including from ISIS.

India‚Äôs interests also center around energy,uranium,trade,investment,national security. India ‚ÄúConnect central asia policy 2012‚ÄĚ sumps up all these. Our entry into Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in July at Ufa will enable us to some extent to realize these goals.

What is the rationale for gender sensitization training for police ?

In order to make police officers behave and act in a gender sensitive manner in cases of violence against women and in the discharge of their duties in general, there is an urgent need to conduct gender sensitization training courses for police. At present, the concept of gender is grossly misunderstood by a large majority of police officers. There is also a lack of proper awareness of the prevailing gender inequalities among police officers.

Even if there is awareness, the cult of masculinity prevailing in the police organizations does not easily permit a change in the attitude and behaviour of male police personnel toward women. The stereotypes held by the police about sexual violence/harassment and domestic violence ( blaming the victim etc) indicate the general attitude of police towards women. The following findings of a research study about the opinion of male police personnel regarding the role of women colleagues also reflect the attitude of a majority of police officers towards women and the lack of awareness about the concept of gender:-

1. There is no need to integrate women into the mainstream of police.
2. Women police personnel should be given specific tasks related to women and children.
3. Women are not enthusiastic about their jobs.
4. Women may work as cooks in the police mess.
5. Women should escort only female prisoners and not male prisoners.
6. Women should not be engaged in operations against militants, extremists and insurgents.
7. Women police officers are very gentle and are not capable of handling hardened criminals.

In order to remove the prejudices and biases of police officers towards women in general and women victims as well as women colleagues in particular and to develop in them the required professionalism (in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes) for dealing with cases of violence against women more effectively, it is imperative that all State police organizations undertake suitable initiatives, including organizing of training programmes to sensitize the police personnel at all levels. Such biases have serious consequences for morale of women, justive meted out to them, entry of women into police force etc.

What is disruptive technology? Give ample examples.

A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry. Here are a few examples of disruptive technologies:

The personal computer (PC) displaced the typewriter and forever changed the way we work and communicate.

The Windows operating system’s combination of affordability and a user-friendly interface was instrumental in the rapid development of the personal computing industry in the 1990s.

Personal computing disrupted the television industry, as well as a great number of other activities.

Email transformed the way we communicating, largely displacing letter-writing and disrupting the postal and greeting card industries.
Cell phones made it possible for people to call us anywhere and disrupted the telecom industry.

The laptop computer and mobile computing made a mobile workforce possible and made it possible for people to connect to corporate networks and collaborate from anywhere. In many organizations, laptops replaced desktops.

Smartphones largely replaced cell phones and PDAs and, because of the available apps, also disrupted: pocket cameras, MP3 players, calculators and GPS devices, among many other possibilities. For some mobile users, smartphones often replace laptops. Others prefer a tablet.

Cloud computing has been a hugely disruptive technology in the business world, displacing many resources that would conventionally have been located in-house or provided as a traditionally hosted service.

Social networking has had a major impact on the way we communicate and — especially for personal use — disrupting telephone, email, instant messaging and event planning.

E-commerce is disrupting physical departmental stores and malls.

Thus, it is a technology that significantly alters the way that businesses operate. A disruptive technology may force companies to alter the way that they approach their business, risk losing market share or risk becoming irrelevant. Recent examples of disruptive technologies include smart phones and the e-commerce retailing. Clayton Christensen popularized the idea of disruptive technologies in the book ‚ÄúThe Innovator’s Dilemma‚ÄĚ in 1997.

Discuss India’s Defense Offset policy, rationale and its advantages.

The global arms trade is increasingly becoming a two-way process. Instead of the traditional off-the-shelf procurement involving goods/ services being exchanged for money, more and more arms buyers are now demanding that some form of work should also directly flow from the contracts they sign with foreign entities. The flow back arrangement in the contract, widely known as offsets, is usually demanded as a certain percentage of the contract value. Offsets are also demanded in various other forms ranging from traditional counter trade practices (barter, buying goods from the purchasing country of defence equipment ) to practices such as co-production, investment, and technology transfer. The purpose for demanding offsets also varies from country to country, depending upon their priorities. While some countries seek offsets in the form of foreign investment and the like for general economic development, others demand technology transfer and a definite work share in the items being procured.

India, predominantly an arms importer country, has evolved its offset policy over the years. Defence Offset Policy will enable creation of local employment, upgradation of technology levels while ensuring substantial increase in both domestic production and export capability. Offset also provides leverage to the domestic industry specifically the SMEs [Small and Medium Enterprises] to enter the sophisticated markets of defence products.

Offset obligations were introduced in 2005 to develop the defence industrial base in the country. It stipulates that for deals worth over Rs. 300 crore, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has to reinvest 30 per cent of the contract value in the country.

Why does Raghuram Rajan think that 1929 type of Crash could recur soon?

In order to comprehend Raghuram Rajan’s warning, the causes of 1930’s Depression as they were linked to the Stock Crash of 1929 need to be understood.

The 1929 crash brought the Roaring Twenties to a shuddering halt. The crash marked the beginning of widespread and long-lasting consequences for the United States. Businesses found it difficult securing capital markets investments for new projects and expansions. Business uncertainty affected job security for employees, and as the American worker (the consumer) faced uncertainty with regards to income, the propensity to consume declined. The decline in stock prices caused bankruptcies and severe macroeconomic difficulties including contraction of credit, business closures, firing of workers, bank failures and other economic depressing events.

The resultant rise of mass unemployment is seen as a result of the crash. The Wall Street Crash is usually seen as having the greatest impact on the events that followed and therefore is widely regarded as signaling the downward economic slide that initiated the Great Depression. The consequences were dire for almost everybody. It wiped out billions of dollars of wealth in one day, and this immediately depressed consumer buying.

About 4,000 banks and other lenders ultimately failed.

Exuberance on stock markets drove the crisis. According to Raghuram Rajan, same could be happening now also with stock markets going higher by the day with real economy not supporting it and thus financial bubbles building that could eventually take down the real and financial economy with it.

Elaborate on MERS.Differentiate between MERS and SARS.

An outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) has claimed lives in South Korea.The World Heath Organization (WHO) says the new coronavirus appears to be passing between people in close contact.It is the biggest outbreak of Mers, which is similar to the Sars virus, outside the Middle East.

It is a type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which includes the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).The first Mers fatality was recorded in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 449 people have now died from the virus.

Mers is a virus that is transmitted from animals to humans. The WHO says that camels are likely to be a source of Mers infection but the exact route of transmission is not yet known.There have been cases where the virus has spread between two people but close contact seems to be needed.

Cases have been confirmed in 25 countries in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. The majority of the cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia.In May 2015, two new countries joined the list: China and South Korea.

Coronaviruses cause respiratory infections in humans and animals. Symptoms are a fever, cough and breathing difficulties.It causes pneumonia and, sometimes, kidney failure.

It is possible the virus is spread in droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.The fact that close contacts appear to have been infected suggests that the virus does have a limited ability to pass from person to person.

Mers is not thought to be very contagious.Up to now, most human cases have been the result of human-to-human transmission in a healthcare setting, the WHO says.How that infection occurs is still not fully understood.

Experts believe the virus is not very contagious. If it were, we would have seen more cases.Coronaviruses are fairly fragile. Outside of the body they can only survive for a day and are easily destroyed by common detergents and cleaning agents.

The greatest global concern, however, is about the potential for this new virus to spread far and wide. So far, person-to-person transmission has remained limited to some small clusters. There is no evidence yet that the virus has the capacity to become pandemic.

Doctors do not yet know what the best treatment is, but people with severe symptoms will need intensive medical care to help them breath. There is no vaccine.As of June 2015, the WHO said about 36% of reported patients with Mers had died.

Experts do not yet know where the virus originated. It may have been the result of a new mutation of an existing virus.Or it may be an infection that has been circulating in animals and has now made the jump to humans.

Coronaviruses are common viruses that most people get some time in their life. Their name comes from the crown-like spikes that cover their surface.Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s.Other variants infect many different animals, producing symptoms similar to those in humans.

Sars is thought to have infected more than 8,000 people, mainly in China and South-East Asia.Most coronaviruses usually infect only one animal species or, at most, a small number of closely related species.Sars was different: being able to infect people and animals, including monkeys, cats, dogs, and rodents.

Sars is thought to have infected more than 8,000 people, mainly in China and South-East Asia, in an outbreak that started in early 2003. The illness spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia before the global outbreak was contained.Experts established that Sars could spread by close person-to-person contact.According to the WHO, 774 people died from the infection. Since 2004, there have not been any known cases of Sars reported anywhere in the world.

It’s not known exactly how people catch this virus. However, some general measures may help prevent its spread – avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone who shows symptoms of illness (coughing and sneezing) and maintain good hand hygiene.

interpol notices system

An Interpol notice is an international alert used by police to communicate information about crimes, criminals and threats to their counterparts around the world. They are circulated by Interpol to all member states at the request of a member or an authorized international entity. The information disseminated via notices concerns individuals wanted for serious crimes, missing persons, unidentified bodies, possible threats, prison escapes etc.

There are eight types, seven of which are color-coded by their function: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Black, Orange, and Purple. The most well-known notice is the Red Notice which is the “closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today.”

 

Types of Notice

Notice - red
Red Notice
To seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action.
Notice - yellow
Yellow Notice
To help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons who are unable to identify themselves.
Notice - blue
Blue Notice
To collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities in relation to a crime.
Notice - black
Black Notice
To seek information on unidentified bodies.
Notice - green
Green Notice
To provide warnings and intelligence about persons who have committed criminal offences and are likely to repeat these crimes in other countries.
Notice - orange
Orange Notice
To warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.
Notice - UN (small)
INTERPOL‚ÄďUnited Nations Security Council Special Notice
Issued for groups and individuals who are the targets of UN Security Council Sanctions Committees.
Notice - purple
Purple Notice
To seek or provide information on modi operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals.

Global Peace Index 2015

The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an attempt to measure the relative position of nations’ and regions’ peacefulness. Global Peace Index published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a Sydney-based global non-profit.

India ranks 143 among 162 countries and fifth out of seven in south Asia for the second year in a row. The cost of containing violence in the country rose by over 90%, from $177 billion in 2013 to $341.7 billion in 2014, or 4.7% of the country’s GDP.

India’s position in the index has worsened since 2008 when it was ranked 138 ,Iceland has been ranked the world’s most peaceful country, while Syria fell to the bottom of the pile.

“Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP has risen in India over the past one year. There has also been an increase in the number of security officers and police per hundred thousand people as well as a slight increase in the number of people in jail,” .

Incidentally, India ranks fourth among the 10 countries with the highest cost of violence containment and figures on the list of nine most militarized states. “India suffers from two issues. For starters, it is a very big nation, and it is difficult to hold so many ethnic groups together. India also has Maoist and border insurrections. It shares a border with Pakistan, which itself has a lot of issues to deal with regarding its internal security,”.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) replaced South Asia at the bottom of the regional ranking. South Asia’s ranking improved solely because conditions deteriorated at a faster rate in the MENA region. Meanwhile, Europe remained the world’s most peaceful region, with some European countries achieving historic levels of peace.

According to the report, the impact of violence on the global economy reached $14.3 trillion, or 13.4% of global GDP, in the past year, “equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the UK”. The report says the number of people killed in conflicts globally rose from 49,000 in 2010 to 180,000 in 2014.

“If global violence were to decrease by 10% uniformly, an additional $1.43 trillion would effectively be added to the world economy. To put this in perspective, this is more than six times the total value of Greece’s bailout and loans from the IMF, ECB and other Eurozone countries combined,” said Killelea.

In attempting to estimate peacefulness, the GPI investigates the extent to which countries are involved in ongoing domestic and international conflicts. It also seeks to evaluate the level of harmony or discord within a nation; ten indicators broadly assess what might be described as a safety and security in society. The assertion is that low crime rates, minimal incidences of terrorist acts and violent demonstrations, harmonious relations with neighboring countries, a stable political scene and a small proportion of the population being internally displaced or refugees can be equated with peacefulness.

The paper also notes increased regional tensions in the Asia-Pacific region during 2014:The South China Sea remains a potential area for conflict, with countries involved in the dispute (China, Vietnam and the Philippines) all showing a worsening of their scores in the 2015 index. Although the likelihood of further military skirmishes in the disputed waters is high, a large-scale military engagement remains unlikely.

What is ” middle income trap”?

The middle income trap is an economic development situation, where a country which attains a certain income (due to given advantages) will find further growth difficult.The concept was coined in 2007.A country in the middle income trap may lose competitive edge in the export of manufactured goods because wages are on a rising trend. An emerging market brimming with potential really starts growing rapidly, generating growth and prosperity, but as it moves into the middle of the global economic table, growth slows down. Hopes for future wealth diminish. It’s trapped.

For examples of this trend, you might look to Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, or Thailand, countries that saw per capita income stagnate after achieving middle-income status. There are counter-examples, though: consider South Korea and Taiwan, which went from the range of 10% to 20% of US income up to the 60%-70% range with nary a pause.

Avoiding the middle income trap entails identifying strategies to introduce new processes and find new markets to maintain export growth. Ramping up domestic demand is also important‚ÄĒan expanding middle class can use its increasing purchasing power to buy high-quality, innovative products and help drive growth.

The biggest challenge is moving from resource-driven growth that is dependent on cheap labor and capital to growth based on high productivity and innovation. This requires investments in infrastructure and education–building a high-quality education system which encourages creativity and supports breakthroughs in science and technology.

What is extradition and how far is extradition a judicial process?

Extradition is the legal process by which a person is transferred from one place to another without the person’s consent. This is a legal method to prevent people from evading justice. When a person commits a crime in a state and then goes to a different one, the person can be sent back to face charges in the state where the crime was committed.

Generally, a country’s power to arrest a fugitive only extends within its borders. If there is no provision for extradition, people can evade justice by moving from one place to another. Extradition treaties are signed between nations with the intention to transfer criminals from a requested country to a requesting country. International extradition is allowed by nations only after imposing conditions to the process. When an extradition treaty is signed, the parties to the treaty provide the offenses for which an individual can be extradited. International extradition matters are negotiated by the executive branch of federal government.

Role of judiciary

However, even if the executive branch is in favor of the foreign nation’s request, extradition requests can be turned down by the judicial branch. The judiciary can dismiss an extradition request if the charges the foreign government leveled against the captive are not crimes in the country where the criminal has escaped to. The judicial branch can also dismiss an extradition request if the captive has a reasonable fear of facing cruel and unusual punishment if s/he was extradited, or if the captive had a reasonable fear that s/he would not face a fair trial.

A nation cannot surrender a fugitive to another nation or demand return of an offender from the nation if it is against the constitution of the nation.

In India the provisions of Indian Extradition Act, 1962, govern the extradition of a fugitive from India to a foreign country or vice-versa. The basis of extradition could be a treaty between India and a foreign country.

Underworld don and prime accused in the Mumbai blasts Abu Salem was extradited from Portugal along with wife Monica Bedi.When India requested Portugal government for the extradition of Abu Salem, Portuguese court ordered their extradition after the Indian government, through its lawyer, gave an assurance that if convicted they would not be sentenced to death.

The assurance was given since European law prohibits extradition of any accused to such a country where capital punishment is in vogue.As per the Portuguese Constitution, no one can be extradited in respect of offences punishable by death penalty under the law of the state requesting extradition.

What is Magna Carta?

Magna Carta, which means ‚ÄėThe Great Charter‚Äô, is one of the most important documents in history as it established the principle that everyone is subject to the law, even the king, and guarantees the rights of individuals, the right to justice and the right to a fair trial.In 1215 King John agreed to the terms of the Magna Carta following the uprising of a group of rebel barons in England.Magna Carta was created as a peace treaty between the king and the rebels.

Magna Carta, among other things, gives all English subjects the right to justice and a fair trial. It says:

‚ÄúNo free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.”

Why is it significant today?

The Magna Carta is considered one of the first steps taken in England towards establishing parliamentary democracy.

What wider role has it played?

There are strong influences from the Magna Carta in the American Bill of Rights, written in 1791. Indian Constitution has Fundamental Rights that were inspired by American Bill of Rights.

Even more recently, the basic principles of the Magna Carta are seen very clearly in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Ethics and Integrity Propriety and Public Life

Propriety means conformity to established standards of morals and appropriateness for the purpose or circumstances; suitability
rightness or justness. It is an essential attribute of those in public service.

The meaning of the term propriety encompasses ‚Äėappropriateness‚Äô, ‚Äėrightness‚Äô, ‚Äėcorrectness in behaviour or morals‚Äô, ‚Äėconformity with convention in conduct‚Äô, ‚Äėthe standards of behaviour considered correct by society‚Äô. The core principles of the concept of propriety could be summarised as under:

  • Integrity
  • Openness
  • Objectivity
  • Honesty
  • Selflessness

The concept of propriety can be related to various other concepts. To list a few:

  • Accountability
  • Legality
  • Probity
  • Value for money
  • Fraud & Corruption
  • Governance

Though the concept of propriety is generally associated with public sector activities, the time has now come to apply this concept even in the private sector. With the changing environment, there is a greater emphasis on conformance with prescribed values, customs, procedures and practices, keeping in mind the public interest.

In India there is a Statement of Judicial Values that sets high benchmarks for judicial behavior in line with propriety.

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behavior expected of all civil servants, for example, participation of government servants in political activities and attendance by government servants at political meetings .

No member of the Civil Service shall use his position or influence directly or indirectly to secure employment for any member of his family with any private undertaking or Non- Government Organisation.Civil servants should not abuse office and official power.

Auditors and companies also have demands of propriety. For example, recent examples of Nestle’s Maggi being contaminated and the auditors of Satyam Computer Services Ltd overlooking best practices.* Fallout of Sushma Swaraj episode

India’s ‚ÄúCalorie Consumption Puzzle‚ÄĚ

India’s ‚ÄúCalorie Consumption Puzzle‚ÄĚ has attracted the attention of many scholars in recent years. The relevant question is : why has the country‚Äôs nutritional intake been declining over the past few decades while people‚Äôs purchasing power is increasing. When it is generally true that richer people consume more calories, why is the Indian trend the opposite? Why do China and Vietnam show normal trend of rising food consumption with growth while only India is going the other way?

Several explanations for the puzzle have been offered by researchers. One theory that has become popular is declining calorie needs ‚Äď people are choosing to consume fewer calories since they need less energy as s the workforce shifts from physically demanding agricultural work to while collar occupations in cities and as agriculture becomes mechanised, calorie requirements of the population are expected to decline. Another explanation centres on diseases such as diarrhoea that result in loss of energy. Greater availability of safe drinking water and better sanitation in India has led to better epidemiological conditions, resulting in fewer cases of diarrhoea and other diseases, and ultimately leading to falling calorie requirements.

Other explanations include increase in food inflation, supplies not matching demand in protein food, vegetarianism that shifts from cereals but cant have protein as it costs more nor meat, voluntary choice of luxuries like TVs over food, and underreporting of calorie intake due to eating outside the home.

What is a social dilemma? How is it related to social capital?

A social dilemma occurs when an individual faces the choice of incurring a personal cost for a greater benefit for others. When social capital( trust, cooperation, understanding and sharing among members of society) is high, individuals are more prepared to incur such individual costs for the greater good; and when most people in society behave in that manner, society as a whole benefits in higher economic productivity, stronger social insurance, greater social resilience to natural hazards, and greater mutual care (such as Good Samaritans coming to the
emergency aid of others).

Many social dilemmas occur in countless faceto-face encounters in daily life and business dealings. When two individuals engage in abusiness encounter, there are the possibilities that they may engage in deceitful behavior such as theft, fraud, or even violence. Some of these threats can be controlled by legal contracts, butwriting and enforcing contracts can be costly or even impossible in some circumstances. Thus, trust is critical: the confidence that the counterparty will behave honestly or morally and transparently.
Without social trust, a wide range of mutually beneficial economic and social arrangements may be impossible to negotiate, much less to sustain.Other social dilemmas occur at the societalscale. When social capital is high, individual citizens are more prepared to pay their taxes honestly, more prepared to support investment in public goods, and more likely to support social insurance policies. The Scandinavian countries, with perhaps the highest social capital in the world, also have the most extensive social welfare systems (broadly classified as social democracy). High social capital is conducive to electoral support for a strong social safety net and extensive social services.

Social capital is best built by exemplary laws, ececution,systems and behaviour of leaders in all walks of life.